The words ‘Trans-Siberian Railway’ conjure up images of far-flung landscapes, exotic adventures and romantic isolation. Featured in countless books and movies, many intrepid travelers consider it a must-do on their global conquest list. Famous for being the longest single railway line in the world, it’s an impressive network that connects Russia’s capital Moscow and the country’s far eastern reaches at Vladivostok, some 9,289km away. It also links with other lines heading further afield to northeastern Russia, Mongolia, China and even North Korea. While the journey is indeed one for the ages, some careful consideration and planning are required to ensure it’s fun and memorable.
While locals use the train to travel portions of the line, most tourists start their journey in either Beijing or Moscow, traveling between the two capital cities, typically with a couple stops along the way to break things up. This route covers two lines, the Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian, and comes in at a whopping 8,861km, taking seven days in a single stretch, which is not advisable. Being on the train itself is an exercise in passive exploration and a very different journey for those not accustomed to long trips by rail.